Clouds of Sils Maria ★★★★½

A glorious marriage of writing, acting, and direction—about writing, acting, and direction in several senses, yet not—Assayas sees Kristen Stewart go toe-to-toe with in form Juliette Binoche in some of the smartest metatextual analysis of aging and selfhood I've seen in some time. And yet the film is not at all dry, it's an exhilarating character drama that's fantastically shot and edited with surprising energy. Excepting a couple of small sequences which came in under par—such as KStew's un/overdramatic mountain drive—pretty much a win on all counts for my money, which I totally wasn't expecting.

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